Boxing kickback claim
● A boxing promoter in the North West is crying foul after a R450,000 sponsorship he was awarded by the province’s gambling board was cancelled three months later.
Stanley Motsuenyane, a former boxer who now runs Bamboo Tree Promotions, alleges he lost the deal because he refused to pay a R200,000 kickback.
Motsuenyane, who has made the claims in a sworn affidavit, said he was pursuing a civil case against the board.
Asked whether he planned to lay a criminal complaint, he said he would rely on the advice of his attorney.
Motsuenyane said early this year he was assisted by an acquaintance, Lebogang Dikobe, in drawing up a business proposal to stage a boxing tournament in Mahikeng.
Dikobe had told him to e-mail the final draft to him and Lerato Seepe, deputy chair of the gambling board.
Motsuenyane said Dikobe was not connected to the gambling board, but added that Dikobe knew Seepe.
In a letter dated May 10, the gambling board told Motsuenyane that his proposal had been accepted.
“The board hereby undertakes to provide the necessary funding as requested by Bamboo Tree Promotions for the above event, which we have been advised is the total amount of R450,000.”
The letter also said the funding was conditional on him “obtaining the necessary approvals to stage the boxing event”, such as getting proof that he was a registered promoter and had confirmed a venue.
Motsuenyane admitted he had been late in submitting his promoter’s licence renewal, which had caused a delay.
Boxing SA CEO Tsholofelo Lejaka said the issue was sorted out by May 29.
Motsuenyane said soon after that he met Dikobe, who then asked for the R200,000.
“Dikobe stated that his people will not release ... funds without me agreeing to give them a kickback of R200,000 from the sponsorship fund of R450,000,” Motsuenyane
Promoter alleges his refusal to pay R200,000 bribe led to sponsorship deal being cancelled
wrote in his affidavit. “I did not agree with him on that as I tried to explain to him that BSA is very aware of the sponsorship fund.”
Motsuenyane explained he could lose his licence if his tournament didn’t meet sufficient standards.
“He [Dikobe] said ‘Ok, I will cancel the sponsorship’.”
Motsuenyane said he was assured by other board employees the sponsorship was secure.
But on August 14 the gambling board wrote him a letter withdrawing the sponsorship. “This serves to inform you that the board had to reprioritise its budget to financial constraints (sic). While the event appears to be worthwhile, we regret to inform you that the board will not be able to fund your event.”
Motsuenyane said he believed the board’s turnaround was a result of him refusing to pay the kickback.
He said his attorney was confident he had a strong case for civil action. The attorney was not available for comment.
The gambling board declined to comment, saying Dikobe was not an employee. An official said Motsuenyane had failed to meet the conditions of the sponsorship.
Dikobe denied the allegations against him. “He’s lying, he’s just angry. I helped him with his proposal,” he said, before the line went dead. He said he was unable to respond to further questions before deadline.
Seepe replied to an e-mail listing Motsuenyane’s claims, including one about the nature of her relationship with Dikobe, saying: “I do not know anything about that. You can contact the CEO for further comments.”